How to tell if your hair has too much protein: take this 5 question quiz

test to know if the hair has protein overload

  • In order to tell if your hair has too much protein, you need to differentiate between if you have protein overload or if your hair needs moisture.
  • So, to do that, we’ll take a little five-question quiz together that will tell us if you have protein overload.
  • If your hair has protein overload, you should make some changes to your hair care routine, like alternating the use of products with different proteins and washing your hair less often.


 Do you want to know if your hair has too much protein? 

It’s easy to find that out, and you’ll know for sure in less than two minutes if your hair has too much protein or just the right and necessary amount.

Ready to find out the truth?


I’ll ask you five simple questions.

  • Does your hair feel weak?
  • Does your hair feel flaccid and volatile?
  • Do you have split ends?
  • Have you noticed more of your hair falling out than usual recently?
  • Does your hair break easily when you brush it?


If you’ve answered yes to at least three of these questions, the diagnosis is quite clear: you have protein overload.


And  if you have protein overload, the only explanation is that you’re using too many products that contain protein , maybe even without realizing it.

Protein overload appears in your hair when remnants of protein accumulate in your hair cuticles and cortex, because of excessive use of products that contain protein.


And in general,  protein overload gets confused with damaged or dry hair , but they have a few fundamental differences.


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Damaged hair is hair that we usually call straw-like, damaged from chemical processing like bleaching it or dyeing it, or from excessive use of heated styling tools.

  •  If your hair is rigid, has no movement and looks opaque , you don’t have protein overload. Because your hair is dry and needs moisture.


What you should do is start a deep hydration routine with hair masks.

And every time you use a mask – once a week at most – you should wrap your hair in a shower cap to maintain a certain temperature so your hair fiber is able to absorb and recuperate its moisture.


  •  If your hair breaks easily when you brush it, you’re losing more hair than normal and you have split ends , you have protein overload.


brittle hair from protein overload

So, in this case, you need to make a radical change to your hair care routine. I’ll tell you about that soon.

First, I think it’s important to know how you ended up with protein overload in the first place. Because if you know what caused the protein overload, then you won’t make the same mistake again.


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Why you have protein overload

using before bleaching

We already said that when you use hair products with protein too often, your hair gets overloaded with protein.

Why does that happen?


When you use a shampoo with keratin or hydrolyzed proteins like silk, collagen or wheat, these nutrients “clog up” the outermost part of each of your stands of hair.

That’s why your hair feels softer, heavier, thicker and brighter after you use shampoo and conditioner or after using a serum or mask and even after using a leave-in conditioner.


Part of the proteins will cover your hair cuticles while the rest will penetrate into the cortex and slowly wear out as you brush your hair, dye it or use heated styling cools.

And so, since your hair feels rough and dry, you keep using products with protein because you think your hair is weak.


But,  if you give your hair more proteins than it needs, it won’t be able to get rid of the excess. 


For example:

  • If you use coconut oil every day, your hair will have too much protein.
  • If you use a leave-in conditioner that contains protein every day, you’ll also end up with protein overload.

Okay, so knowing all of that, what can you do?


As you can see the first thing you should do is get rid of the excess proteins and then the second thing you should do is take a look at the hair products you’re using.


3 changes to your hair care routine to fix and avoid protein overload

woman changes beauty routine

Alright, so before you make any change to your hair care routine,  the first thing you need to do is get rid of the extra protein . That will act as a little “reset” for your hair.

How do you get rid of too much protein?

Using a detox or clarifying shampoo.


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Clarifying shampoo will get rid of any excess product you have in your hair.

And that is very important because if you have too much protein in your hair, the other products you use won’t work the way they should.

How should you use clarifying shampoo?


I recommend using it while you shower because you’ll need to use the shampoo for at least two times.

  • Wet your hair and apply a small amount of shampoo to your roots, massaging it in.
  • Rinse your hair, and apply another small bit of shampoo, this time massaging it throughout your whole hair, focusing on the ends. Leave it in for five minutes, then rinse.

Don’t worry if your hair feels dry after using the clarifying shampoo. Because now is the time to make the changes to your hair care routine.


Alternate your hair products

  •  If you wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner that contain protein , don’t use a hair mask.
  •  if you use leave-in conditioner , don’t use a serum on your ends.
  •  If you wash your hair with a shampoo that doesn’t contain protein , you can use a conditioner that does contain protein.


By doing this, you’ll continue to give your hair the nutrients it needs and your hair won’t have too much protein.


Don’t wash your hair every day

All washing your hair every day will do is eliminate the natural oils your scalp produces, drying your hair out.

It’s best to wash your hair  three times a week or every 48 hours if you have greasy hair.  And, if your hair is greasy, you can always use dry shampoo.


Use just one kind of protein in your hair care routine

There are a lot of kinds of protein out there. Some are denser while others are smaller.

When it comes to lotion for your skin, the same concept applies. Each kind of cream is made up of different ingredients.

For example, emollient creams help to replenish natural oils in your skin, while humectant creams help to replenish moisture.

If you want healthy skin, you should use both kinds of lotions. But of course, you wouldn’t use both at the same time because then you’d block your pores.


choosing hair products to avoid protein overload

It’s the same when it comes to hair products that contain protein. You can’t use a shampoo, conditioner and mask that all contain protein all at the same time.

Because then your hair won’t be able to fully absorb any of the proteins, causing them to accumulate in your cuticles and your hair will have protein overload.


As such, I’d recommend sticking to a protein plan for your skin.

  • The first week, use shampoo and conditioner with keratin up to three times a week, which will strengthen and brighten your hair.
  • The second week, you can use a mask with elastin, which will help give your hair movement and shine.
  • The third week you can use a hair product that contains collagen, which will repair and moisturize your hair.


 It’s important to include these three proteins in your hair care routine: keratin, elastin and collagen. 


But remember you can’t use all three in your hair at the same time to avoid saturating it with protein.

And it’s also important to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo at least once a month to prevent protein overload.



If you have protein overload, it’s important to get rid of the overload with a clarifying shampoo.

Once you’ve done that, use an intentional amount of proteins in your hair, wash it less often and rotate between products that contain different proteins.

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